The weather is getting warmer, vacation time is adding up, and it’s almost time for you to take that road trip you’ve planned for this year.
Do you know where you want to go, or will you simply amble about on the road until you reach the next step? Are you ready to see everything the open road has to offer and explore this beautiful country’s scenery? When its time to be out on the open road, you’ll want to make sure you take some advice and think about what you’re doing and where you might go.
Before You Go, Clean Out Your Car
Time on the road often involves collecting various fast food wrappers, flyers, bits of information, and junk you pick up at gas stations to amuse you. If you don’t clean out your car before you go, you’ll only add to the mess you’ve got right now. A fresh and clean car will give you the feeling you’re starting on a journey without a bunch of your daily life baggage along for the ride.
Get Your Car Checked
When you take a road trip, the last thing you want to do is stop when you’re not ready. While you’re going to risk the occasional flat tire, you don’t want something more catastrophic to happen during your drive. You should take your car to a certified mechanic and let them give you a clean bill of health that informs you that the car is ready for you to head out for some time behind the wheel.
Going On the Road with Your Family; You Need a Plan
There’s nothing wrong with driving aimlessly across the country when you’re alone, but you need to have a plan if you’re taking along any passengers. At the very least, you need to have an honest conversation about the type of experience you want to have and let others tell you what they want to enjoy during this adventure. Everyone feels differently about these types of vacations; try to plan something for everyone to enjoy.
Plan Your Route, if You Have a Destination in Mind
Even if you want to enjoy the open road and feel the freedom of not having a plan, you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere when dusk settles in, and you’re ready for sleep. Plan out estimated distances and destinations each day to at least give yourself an idea of how far you’ll go. You can use the various options on Google Maps to help with this part of your road trip.
Visit Grocery Stores for Your Snacks
You need to fuel up as much as your car does, but you don’t want to rely on gas station snacks the entire time. There’s nothing wrong with the odd time when you splurge on something from a convenience store, but you can buy healthier, more plentiful, and more affordable snacks if you stop at grocery stores along the way. Fill your cooler with some drinks and get the snacks you enjoy.
When You Want to See More, Stay Off the Highway
The interstate system is wonderful for going as quickly as possible from one place to another, but that’s not how a road trip should be. Most people think of the romance of a trip across the country as a way to see everything they can when out on the open road. Stay away from the major highways and see the amazing scenery and landscape that is America.
Make Sure You Have the Apps You Need Before You Leave
You could get tired of your musical playlist, especially if you only have a few hours of music saved. Either sign up for a satellite radio subscription for your time on the road or download some apps to keep you entertained. It’s not a bad idea to have apps to help you find the most affordable gas or your next coffee stop during your route.
Set a Budget and Stick to it
Nothing will ruin the memory of your road trip more than spending a lot more money than you should out on the road. Ensure you have an emergency credit card in case your car needs maintenance. This helps avoid the challenges of paying for a fix out of your vacation money. If you stick to a budget, you’ll have nothing but fond memories when you return home.
Experience the Local Scene
Forget the big chain hotels and restaurants with names you know. Find the local cuisine and local hotels that meet your expectations during your time on the road. Some towns have unique B&B options or a diner that everyone loves. Some great apps like the Near Me Tonight app help you find the place you want to stay for the night.
Avoid Times When Others are on the Road or Eating
Just because you’re used to driving through town around 5 pm or eating at dinner time doesn’t mean that’s a good plan for your driving vacation. Plan your routes to either arrive early in the day at a city you want to visit or leave at that time. Also, adjust your eating schedule to eat later or earlier so you can enjoy dining without a wait or a crowd.
Have an Escape Route When the Scenery is Stale
The vast scenery of America is amazing, but driving through cornfields can get old after a while. This is the case for driving on mountain roads as well, which often go up the mountain and then back down. When you’ve had your fill of the scenery around you and want to put some miles behind you, have a plan to get back on the interstate during your road trip.
Be Prepared to Spend the Night in Your Car
There are times when you might get stuck between cities and want to stop. If you have the right gear along with you, it’s possible to spend the night in your car. Think about what you would need if you went camping and bring those items on your trip. This will help you know you’re prepared for any possibility when you’re out on the road.
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